Thursday, August 5, 2010

Leadership in the context of present environment: A reflection about the socities we live in

This is a very interesting topic. If we see around the globe we may realize that most of the leaders represent the kind of socities are prevailing in those countries.

Italy: Birthplace of Mafia. Still the tapered side of Italy is governed hugely by mafia inteference. The president is an epitome of societal turbulance. When I was having a discussion with Dr. Antonio Guezzati, who was a professor at University of Bocconi (Milan), now running a consulting firm based out of Washnigton DC he told that the bugger (the president) controls everything. How did it happen? He openly asks ambassadors to invite sexy girls. Even at the age of 72 when the country looks towards him for leading the nation he is involved in fulfilling his sensual needs? It reflects the kind of society our Italy may be. People involved in just fulfilling their sensual needs and not moving up in the need hierarchy of Maslov.

France: Well Mr. and Mrs. Sarkozy are well known for all not so good things. Mrs. Sarkozy has flair of having affiars and feels ‘bored’ with just one personOn the other hand Mr. Sarkozy’s involvement with his minister is talk of the town along with having a possibility of his offspring from that minister. His other minister’s involvement with corruption cases and appointments of sex offender is well known. Some day it is the return of “bourgeois bohemian values. With just population of approx. 60 million why the President finds it very difficult to manage where countries like India and China find it not so tough? I had put a perspective to answer this question in my earlier writing. It also reflects the way relationships/ administration is done in our French society.

US: The present world super power. Barack has not been a native of US that’s why may be he brings variation and seen as a promising leader. Former President Mr. Bush reflected a similar perspective of US society as discussed above in context of Italy & France. An attitude of indifference towards existence of other nations. Creating Taliban and ISI which in turn has been problematic for US. Forex reserve of US is less than that of Italy which reflects overspending attitude of people which resulted in recession. As a saying goes “if you stretch beyong the length of the bedsheet you become ‘naked’” and so it happened in America. In view of many European acquiantances and friends now it is Europe’s turn.

India: Well the country of my birth. Corruption is everywhere. In Europe/ US the corruptions are at high levels but in India it is all pervading. One reason why corruption might not be at lower levels in many European nations can be attributed to social security features. Yet some countries like Italy still have the lower level corruption. In India the staff in the lower hierarchy are paid too low to survive properly so they resort to corruption. At the top level the situation is as good as in other countries. The best part is that everybody knows and despite complaining people live with it. This also reflects the societal problems India like country may have. We are fast catching up with the developmental model of western world without realizing whether that is development or not. Fortunately the Prime Minister is one of exceptions which exist so we have lots of hopes and dreams.

The question is why don’t we bring change in the society when it is evident that it is needed much more than before!! 

Maslov’s hierarchy of needs: Revisited in context of development of human beings

Many of my management friends will remember Maslov’s hierarchy of needs (He was an American pshycologist). I am reproducing it for reference.

As you can see that the needs/ development of human beings in the upward direction. In present day context if we see our cities around the globe including western nations we are stuck at the third level!! When a society is made of human beings then the societal development must be looked in the context of human beings. We are so much tuned to meet our Physiological and love/ belongingness needs that we are not able to think beyond! What has caused this stagnation?

This puts one big Q in our minds? Are countries like US/ France/ Germany/ UK etc. really worth being mentioned as developed nations! No doubt infrastructure exists, bit of security exists (or at least illusion of safety exits in light of recent recession), drinks and sex exists but are our western nations progressing up in the pyramid direction? In my view they are not. At a time when the noble positions of teachers are being misusedcan we say that the education in our western socities is good? 

Where are the Platos, Joan of Arcs, Socarates, Nostradamus, Newtons, Einstiens etc. of the present time ....... 

Are we different?

Today while I was walking in Malabar hills area (Mumbai, India) suddenly when I saw dog it struck me. With our mindless drive for achieving something or enjoying life we tend to get involved in things which are not worth following, despite knowing, so is there a difference between us and the animals (dogs)?

Animals (Dogs)
We all enjoy decent food
They also get to have nice meals
One of the prime needs
‘Well off’ dogs have it
Social life (friend group)
We have our friend circle
They also tend to be in groups
We find very few
Dogs are considered to be the best friend of human beings and the most faithful (some dog may take it as an offence if he/ she sees being compared to human beings)
Majority of us (city dwellers, European/ US peers etc) enjoy life with liquor, sex, few with food etc.
They don’t have access to liquor but do lot of sex and also enjoy food. Now a day they have special foods prepared.
Family life
Most of our peers in western countries/ large cities in Asia tend to get involved in short relations and move ahead. Many relations get developed over liquor overnight and having mutiple ‘associations’ is considered cool!! Having a family seems to be an unsustainable affair!
Well they don’t seem to have families. Females will have multiple partners, males will have multiple affairs. Females are left to bring up the children. If they would have a voice they would have also, may be, expressed it as cool! Some dog might say damn! Humans are catching us so fast….
Indians are a lazy set of guys. Our western peers beat Asians by mile. Some do so to stay in shape so that they could have great sex (well some set of guys and girls gave that answer).
Dogs keep on running so the healthier ones enjoy same things as humans with as many as they can manage.
Most of us get (but do we utilize it?). Now a day teachers are having pleasurable activities, around the globe, with students rather than giving them life’s lessons. Who to trust?
They don’t have it (at least formally).
Many in western nations and majority of Asian cities vehemently try to protect it (least realizing that for any activity, starting from birth to death, we are dependent on each other!!).
They are all for it. They try to protect it fierecly. They mark their regions and any violation of ‘personal space’ results in fights!

Having so many similarities are we different? Some say human beings posses superior intelligence. What is that intelligence? Why are we afraid to utilize our brains? Why do we take status quo as it is, even if deep inside we feel there is something amiss? May be you get to see lots of animals on the roads in our Asian cities people get to have some feedback about difference between a human being’s behavior and that of an animal (not so in the case of our western nations).

I wonder what would have today’s world been if the French revolution wouldn’t have happened, America’s great struggle wouldn’t have been there, India’s independence struggle wouldn’t have happened, China wouldn’t have fought for its freedom? If our ancestors wouldn’t have put their asses in the line of fire we would have still been centuries behind. If they would have said “damn why the hell should I care for what happens to the future generation, neighbours etc. Let me enjoy the life, girls/ guys. Why the hell should I go out of my comfort zone?” I dare not imagine where we would have been?? We have forgotten Joan of Arc, Madam Marie Curie, Bhagat Singh, Abraham Lincon etc.

May be things happened long long ago so our generation has forgotten ‘the duty’ and just remember ‘the rights’. Are we ‘the lost generation’?

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Things less talked

Many of us are great admirers of people like Mahatma Gandhi, Jesus, Dr. Ambedkar, Abraham Lincon etc. When it will come to follow their paths many people might say "have you gone crazy that I would like to go through the same path they did?. It is not possible for me!"

Similarly most of the cases we always try to show the bright side of the life of any well known person which creates skewed perspective of life! The younger generation tries to copy and when they fall short of their targets they realize it was just a mirage and he/she wasn't given any balance perspective of the person. In case of Jesus also there are lots of controversies and now after so many child abuse cases surfacing around the globe in Western countries people have become disillusioned with the concept of church, its notion of opaqueness, notion of god as the supreme and his decisions about the human actions. People in time of need long to get support of god and all they are asked to do is to 'have faith'. Don't we think that it is ultimately the karma of that specific person, may be channelize through god via faith, which gets him/ her out of the situation of misery? In case of Mahatma Gandhi many people idolize him but don't recognize several instances of sexual misconduct which were brought into notice by recent articles

The notion of sexual freedom in our western countries has been more abused rather than responsibly utilized. Asian countries are following the example more rapidly than expected. Recently when an Iranian cleric announced that the earthquakes are caused by women overexposing their boobs to the surprise of many several women went in public that such thing doesn't happen by exposing their boobs and creating even a facebook group. Why have we become so mindless to pay attention at such events and even trying to create a media hype about it? As I had mentioned in my previous article most of the drug uses, sexual activeness is caused by 'mindless reactions'. Somehow I feel that many from the younger generation have weakened their self control to such an extent that they are unable to cope up with real life situations. One example which I may cite from recent news in India where 1) Two dutch girls where raped but later there was evidence that the two dutch girls enjoyed the company of the young Kashmiris (having photographs with kissing scenes) and even one of the victim told there was nothing like rape happened. 2) A Brazilian girl was raped twice by her landlord in Noida. Even though I was ashamed yet all this put the question in readers' mind about 'the truth' & 'the trust'!! Were the two girls as victim so weak that they couldn't not approach the police or why did the Brazilian girl didn't approach the police at the first instance? Our western countries' girls are portrayed as immoral & without character (through movies, media, pornographic material, real life instances etc.) so everybody tries to take a shot at them in Asian countries. They are exposed to undue attention. There are several instances which can be cited from colleagues' observations in Italy, Germany and a no. of other places. Recently when I had an interaction with a well learned guy who has traveled widely (an Indian) and owns a no. of companies didn't appreciate the mindless sexual drive of our western peers more so in the light of recent child pornographic cases surfacing in Eurpe, Australia & US (Why are we playing with the innocence of children?). A professor at IIM Ahmedabad, globe trotter and well respected in economics field, had warned almost a year ago to be beware of European girls. Still I feel that there are good things about Europe/ US, in terms of human relations, which must be brought out to show the world that all is not lost. My faith has strong basis through interactions with a no. of families & kids in Europe who I feel are as much Indian & value emotions as I might do.

In my view the notion of freedom and individualism which we so fiercely try to protect around the globe is a big farce! As a popular saying goes "no man or woman is an island" and most of the learning which we have is from our surroundings and the people around us. Be it Jesus, Buddha, Mohammad or any well known entity each were part of a society, dependent on it and also recognized it! It's time for our generation and even the older generation to think and use our minds rather than mindlessly following what the neighbor might be doing or the peers might be doing.

It puts a no. of questions in our minds about 

1. Our way of living
2. Parenting
3. Education system
4. Value of human relations (rather than just physical association)

and many more such things. Yet I have hope and hope many may also have hopes. I do as much as I can and hopefully find a no. of our young friends from Europe/ US/ India who wants to see a better world. I hope we will find some 'doers' rather than 'just complainers' to bring change for good!

With hope........